Soccer is, without a doubt, one of the most popular sports across the world. As a player, you know it is not for the faint of heart or those who shy away from a challenge. Every moment is a tornado of energy, anticipation, and risk. But if you are not equipped with the right apparel and gear, then every moment of a soccer match will hold the possibility of injury.
After all, soccer is a physical contact sport. Aside from ensuring your protection, the right equipment will do wonders in boosting your performance and allow you to move freely, with less concern to your personal safety. So before you take to the pitch for the season, here are some essentials every player can buy easily.
Every player needs a soccer uniform, which includes a shirt, shorts, and socks. If you are part of a soccer league team, then a standard uniform will be provided to all team players, but if you are not part of a soccer league, then you may want to give it a little more thought. Since you can really work up a sweat during a soccer game, which can make you quite uncomfortable, the key to picking the right soccer shirt and shorts is to pick those made of breathable and quick-drying fabrics. Not only will they allow you to move more comfortably and freely during soccer practice and matches, but they will also reduce the chance of any chafing or blisters. While playing soccer outdoors or during the winter, it can get pretty chilly. To stay warm, consider buying a long-sleeve soccer shirt or coupling your uniform with a compression shirt and shorts.
Shin guards are an essential requirement in most leagues— rightly so. Soccer is a physical contact sport; there are frequent errant kicks and tackles that can cause serious injury to your shin. That is why it is important that you make the right choice when buying a shin guard, as they provide shock absorption and reduce the chances of serious shin injuries. Make sure your shin guards are not too tight so as not to restrict your movement, and check to see that it covers most of the area between your ankle and knee.
One of the most important items in a soccer player’s arsenal is their cleats. Soccer cleats keep your feet comfortable and well-protected during a game. More importantly, soccer cleats provide players with better traction on the ground— that is what makes them different from other types of shoes. This aspect, on its own, makes picking the right pair of soccer cleats a complex decision. To pick the right pair, you need to consider the types of surfaces you usually play on and the types of movements your position requires you to make. You also need a snug fitting of both your socks and the cleats on your feet.
If your position on the field is goalkeeper, then you are definitely going to need a good pair of goalkeeping gloves. A good pair of gloves will improve your performance as the goalkeeper, and in turn, your ability to hold up your team’s last line of defense.
As with everything else, fitting comes first. Well-fitted gloves will enhance your grip on the ball, which will allow you to block, catch, and throw the ball more accurately, all while cushioning your hands and protecting them from the impact of fast-moving balls.
One of the less obvious soccer essentials, but definitely high on the list, is a trusty water bottle. Soccer is an intense sport that requires players to run around for the entire duration of the game. This intense and continuous movement can lead to dehydration or heat stroke if you do not replenish the water you lose by sweating. It is vital for you to have a water bottle at hand to stay hydrated before, during, and after a game.
So there you have it! The list of your soccer essentials boils down to a soccer uniform, shin guards, soccer cleats, a water bottle, and goalkeeping gloves for goalkeepers. These items contribute to your safety and comfort, ensure that you are well-protected from harm or injury, allow you to move freely on the field, and enhance your performance during the game. However, picking the right items can prove difficult, as you have to balance between budget, fit, and functionality. So take the time to do a little research, read product reviews, and shop around to make the right purchase.